Micky Mellon heaped praise on his Tranmere side’s resilience as they came from behind and a man down to beat Wycombe 2-1 in their FA Cup first-round replay.
Kieron Morris’ goal five minutes shy of penalties sealed a dramatic comeback at Adams Park and booked Rovers a second-round date with Chichester.
That was after Kane Wilson saw straight red in the 41st minute of the contest, and Mellon believes that the 10 that remained delivered the epitome of a backs-to-the-walls job.
“I’m delighted, it’s a tribute to the players’ character,” he said.
“We’ve probably deserved to go down to 10 men. It was a poor challenge from a young player who will learn.
“For the team to show fighting qualities in cup ties is needed. We need to continue showing those battling qualities.
“I told my players to stay in the game and believe as it has been done before.
“Morris has always been a good player, he’s always been capable of that but if he gets in that area of the pitch with his left foot, he can punish you.
“Scott Davies had to make those saves having gone down to 10 men. He made some terrific saves and added to the list of players who came out with credit.
“The prize money is massive to us. We’re in this league and for teams like us it is difficult for us to compete with the bigger clubs. But with these opportunities to win prize money it can take the club forward. Our chairman will be happy.”
Anthony Stewart gave the hosts the lead four minutes after Wilson was handed his marching orders, but Morgan Ferrier set up an extra-time finale with his 55th-minute effort, with Morris doing the honours in the 115th.
And Chairboys boss Gareth Ainsworth was understandably dejected after he watched his charges crumble.
“It was tough to take that one, we were well in control for big periods and created big chances,” he said.
“We were well in control. We’ve been unlucky. We’ve tested their keeper time after time, and he’s come up with the goods. That’s what he’s paid for.
“He’s had a hell of a game. They had three shots on target and two went in. It happens. I’d love to have played Chichester here but at least we get a good rest now before the Christmas period.
“I’m disappointed. I can’t talk about finances, just football. Prize money would have helped but it hasn’t happened.
“We have a big December now. It’s nice being top of the league and I would have loved to have got a result tonight. But their keeper ensured that didn’t happen.”